Pandemic over by summer? Big concerts, events planned at NJ venues
Despite no guarantee that Gov. Phil Murphy will lift his executive orders on capacity once the state reaches the state's vaccination goals, plans for blockbuster summer concerts and events are moving forward.
Concerts are scheduled outdoors at the PNC Bank Arts Center, the BB&T Pavilion, the Hard Rock in Atlantic City, the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank and MetLife Stadium.
Some concerts have already been canceled, including Steely Dan and Steve Winwood, which were scheduled for July 3 at the Arts Center.
LiveNation, which runs the Arts Center and BB&T Pavilion in Camden, is in communication with local officials and given the changing landscape will update information about specific shows as they get closer.
A company spokeswoman would not say if the venues would require proof of vaccination or offer rapid COVID-19 testing at venues.
Some indoor concerts planned at shore venues have been postponed already including Ringo Starr who has postponed a June concert at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park to May 2022.
The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, which tried drive-in concerts last summer at the Monmouth Park, will move outdoors again this summer to the Suneagles Golf Club in Eatontown. The Concerts on the Green series runs May 14 to Aug. 26. The lineup includes Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Almost Queen, Citizen Cope, Max Weinberg, Bobby Bandiera, Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers and Judy Collins.
"From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Basie Center has been determined to keep alive its mission to inspire, educate and entertain," CEO and President Adam Philipson said. "We’ve put that determination into action, selling more than 30,000 tickets outdoors last summer, and creating a set of health protocols and practices we’ve used for nearly 150 ticketed events since. We are looking forward to once again providing safe, socially-distanced ‘dinner and a show’ experiences at our Concerts on the Green series.”
The Count Basie already had to postpone the Beach Boys from this month to April 2022.
In August, MetLife Stadium will allow fans back in the stadium in over a year with rescheduled concerts by Guns N' Roses on Aug. 5 and Lady Gaga on Aug. 19. Kenny Chesney, who was scheduled for Aug. 21, has postponed until 2022.
Murphy's executive order limits capacity at outdoor venues to 30% excluding performers, athletes, staff, coaches and ushers.
Planning for the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, which includes concerts by Barenaked Ladies and Styx, has been going ahead despite the capacity for outdoor events being currently at just 200. The event was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic
"I'm staying positive and testing negative," joked Howard Freeman, executive director of the Festival of Ballooning. "There's a lot of pent-up demand out there, a lot of cabin fever."
"The question is what is the capacity of a 744-acre airport with unlimited ability to socially distance? If we are like an amusement park, which is at 50% and a couple thousand, we're comfortable at 50%. In our biggest year, we had 175,000 people and other than Saturday night, there was plenty of open space," Freeman said.
Freeman is also optimistic that Gov. Phil Murphy's goal of 4.7 million fully dosed residents will be met long before the festival starts and that capacities will be greatly increased.
He said that the festival will abide by whatever guidelines are in place regarding social distancing and mask wearing and that tickets could be sold by session to follow capacity rules.
The festival is already planning on adding contactless admission points in the parking lot.
"We may have an entrance just for people who are fully vaccinated so we're making it as safe as possible," Freeman said.
Scheduled concerts at New Jersey venues as of April 13
PNC Bank Arts Center
- Saturday, May 29: 5 Seconds of Summer
- Friday, June 11: Thomas Rhett
- Monday, July 12: Backstreet Boys
- Thursday, July 15: Chicago
- Friday, July 16: Black Crowes
- Tuesday, July 20: Dave Matthews Band
- Friday, July 23: Chris Stapleton
- Saturday, July 24: Megadeath & Lamb of God
- Tuesday, July 27: Matchbox Twenty
- Monday, August 2: Doobie Brothers
- Tuesday, August 3: Rod Stewart
- Saturday, August 7: Kidz Bop
- Friday, August 13: Daryl Hall & John Oates
- Saturday, August 14: Goo Goo Dolls
- Sunday, August 15: Santana/Earth, Wind & Fire
- Saturday, August 28: James Taylor
- Wednesday, September 1: Alanis Morissette
Count Basie Center for the Arts Concerts on the Green
- Friday, May 14* / Saturday, May 15*: Bobby Bandiera – Runnin’ Down A Dream: A Tribute to Tom Petty
- Friday, May 21 / Saturday May 22: Citizen Cope
- Saturday May 29 / Sunday May 30: Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
- Weds June 2*, Thurs June 3* / Fri June 4*: Brian Fallon
- Saturday, June 5 – 5PM* / 8PM*: Almost Queen
- Thursday, June 10*: Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers (6/11 SOLD OUT)
- Saturday, June 12*: Get The Led Out
- Sunday, June 13: Get The Led Out
- Wednesday, June 16: Judy Collins
- Thursday, June 17: CSNSongs: Celebrating the Music of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
- Saturday, June 19: Almost Queen
- Friday, July 2: Brian Kirk & The Jirks: That 70’s Show
- Friday July 9 / Saturday July 10: Grace Potter
- Friday, July 16 / Saturday July 17: Max Weinberg’s Jukebox
- Friday, July 23 / Saturday July 24: Jorma Kaukonen (Hot Tuna)
- Sunday, July 25: Marc Cohn
- Friday, July 30: Dar Williams
- Saturday, July 31: Comedian Steve Treviño
- Sunday, August 1: Destination Motown, starring the Soul Cruisers
- Saturday, August 14: Comedian Chris Distefano
- Thursday, August 26: The Weight Band
- Friday, June 25: Dave Matthews Band
- Saturday, June 26: Dave Matthews Band
- Saturday, July 10: Chris Stapleton
- Tuesday, July 13: Black Crowes
- Thursday, July 15: Backstreet Boys
- Saturday, July 17: Chicago with Rick Springsfield
- Thursday, July 22: Matchbox Twenty & The Wallflowers
- Monday, July 26: Megadeath & Lamb of God
- Wednesday, August 4: Doobie Brothers
- Thursday, August 12: Jimmy Buffett
- Thursday, August 19: Santana/Earth, Wind & Fire
- Sunday, August 25: James Taylor & Jackson Browne
- Monday, August 26: Alanis Morrissette
- Tuesday, August 27: Thomas Rhett & Cole Swindell
- Saturday, September 4: Maroon 5 & Meghan Trainor
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ